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Just What Is Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil?
The answer to that question would depend on who you ask. If you asked the typical manufacturer of vitamin supplements, using standard food grade material, the answer would be “There is no such thing as pharmaceutical grade fish oil”. If you asked a practicing physician like me, I would tell you, “Pharmaceutical grade fish all is the only type of fish oil I would ever put into my body”. So just what does the term “pharmaceutical grade” mean? First, it's important for you to understand that the FDA does not, at this moment, regulate vitamin supplements; therefore, any manufactured vitamin supplement is not evaluated by the FDA, so it’s not really a pharmaceutical. Prescription drugs require very stringent purity and ingredient testing before they are considered safe by the regulatory bodies. In this country, technically speaking, food supplements do not require that high a degree of stringent purity testing.
However, a small band of manufacturers like me have dedicated ourselves to producing only the finest quality nutritional supplements. We therefore, use the term "pharmaceutical grade" to describe our products. Simply put, what this means is, if the FDA were to make fish oil a prescription drug tomorrow, our product would pass muster. This is because we have stringent purity testing and allow no detectable levels of pollutants in our fish oil or any other of our products, for that matter. This is a time-consuming and often expensive process, but yields the absolute best product money can buy.
For the past couple of years, the debate has raged over pharmaceutical grade terminology. Many companies that do not apply the stringent high-grade procedures to guarantee the quality of their products are literally furious at the term “pharmaceutical grade”. They would like to see it banished from use because it puts them at a serious disadvantage. It earmarks their product, especially fish oil, as substandard. Lets take a look at a recent Consumer Reports article on the purity of fish oil. Several different brands of fish oil were tested in this particular study. The conclusion reached was that all fish oils have about the same amount of pollutant levels, 1 ppm of lead, for example. Therefore the consumer should go out and buy the cheapest brand of fish oil possible since there would be no difference between them other than price. Well my friend, the devil is in the details. Let's take our product Dr.
Dave's Best Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil as an example. Recent independent laboratory testing yielded no mercury, and no lead at any detectable level. What this translates into is a purity of parts per trillion rather than parts per million. Those three zeros make a big difference. This could be the difference between you ingesting mercury at detectable levels in as little as one year’s time, versus ingesting no mercury over a lifetime. Why is this important? Mercury is the most toxic metal that naturally occurs on planet Earth. It would take only a very small amount of mercury in a water supply to make it undrinkable by the Environmental Protection Agency standards. Mercury can cause brain damage that looks very much like Alzheimer's dementia. You may have heard the term “mad as a hatter” from reading Alice in Wonderland, or simply as a cliché. Many years ago, hat makers used dyes that contained mercury, so they often suffered from severe brain damage as a result.
As our population continues to age and brain health becomes a critical issue not just from Alzheimer's disease, but from other forms of dementia, it should become apparent that we should all strive to keeps our brains as healthy and toxin free as possible. This is one way in which my pharmaceutical grade fish oil stands out. Now let’s take a look at lead. Most people know that lead exposure is toxic. In a particular area where I grew up there were battery plants. In these battery plants constant lead testing of the employees was undertaken to prevent permanent damage. Lead toxicity can have many serious consequences, including nerve problems, mental problems, blood problems, and kidney failure. Sadly, lead and mercury are not the only pollutants found in our water supplies and our fish. Byproducts of the petroleum industry, including polyvinyl chlorides and biphenyl compounds are also found throughout the world. Some manufactures of fish oil note that all their fish sources come from above the Arctic Circle.
This is the case with our fish oil also; however, we still subject it to very stringent purification methods using a proprietary process called molecular distillation. We do this because we recognize that even fish caught above the Arctic Circle are exposed to pollution. Therefore, where you catch your fish really doesn't matter all that much. What matters the most is what you do with your fish oil after you get it. Please do not be misled by anyone claiming that they have found a pure source of fish that requires no processing. Some of the physical health problems associated with these types of petroleum pollutants include breathing problems, kidney failure, weakness and fatigue. Taken as a whole, it is very important, that whatever you put into your body maintains the highest purity standards you can get, because you don't want to load up any of your organ systems, especially your brain and your heart with toxic pollutants. There is yet another pollutant and a problem, which as far as I know, we are the only manufacturer who addresses. This is the problem of radiation.
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